Wonders of Owu Falls beckon tourists

OWU Falls, located in the village of Owa-Kajola in Ifelodun Wonders of Owu Falls beckon touristsLocal Government Area of Kwara State, is known as one of the highest, spectacular and most stunning natural water falls in West Africa as it is surrounded by a beautiful natural environment and hills to enable a tourist enjoy some sightseeing. As a lover of nature, you can visit the Owu Falls as it invites and welcomes all and sundry to its vicinity. Even though its existence is untraceable, it situates as one of the symbol of nature and can only be appreciated and promoted by exploring and appreciating its magnificence. The area is characterised by natural scenery.

The fall is surrounded by tropical rainforest in which a wide range of animals and plants, not seen in other parts of the world, can be found. The fall, however, is opened everyday and capable of generating huge revenue from local and foreign tourists. Accommodations are also available near towns of Owu-Isin, Oke-Onigbin and Omu-Aran at affordable rates. Cascading from a height of about 120 metres and 330 feet down an escarpment with rocky-out crops to form a pool of cold water at its base, Owu Waterfalls has its shelter in the soothing forest and astonishing vegetation in the state. It is about 112 kilometres from Ilorin, the state capital as it can be accessed through the state and local roads. It is the steepest natural waterfall in West Africa.

Tribune Tourism Magazine gathered that according to myths, the falls was once a home to the giant snake and birds that threatened the mutual lives of the villagers. This situation continued till 1940, when according to the narration, “God in His infinite mercies and love for His people struck the snake with thunder, and miraculously sent the dangerous birds away.” One fascinating pulls to the falls is its coolness which occurs and experienced particularly from a distance of about 10 kilometres to the site especially during the rainy season. The site has a beautiful landscape and offers visitors a refreshing, inspirational and energising atmosphere. The water falls is surrounded with a stunning natural ambiance and hills which makes tourism an unforgettable experience. Fantastic features of the waterfall include beautiful rocky pathway, cold water and evergreen surroundings, among others. The intricacy in the location itself is another form of excitement.

Sheltered in the peaceful forest with ample vegetation and breath taking-landscape of Owa-Kajola, in Isin owu area of Kwara State, the Owu Falls beckons at tourists who visit and explore the natural world. According to history, the founding fathers of Owu, Owa-Kajola and Owa Onire were siblings from Owa family. Although they lived on the hills above the falls, they were ignorant of the existence of the waterfalls below. Due to the unavailability of social amenities and the rocky nature of the terrain which made farming very boring and wearying, the settlers moved to the present location in Owa-Kajola in 1940. By this time, they discovered the waterfall.

However, with this migration, one of the brothers, Owa Kajola, established his home near the falls, while Owa Onire moved to the city boundary near Isanlu, in the present Kogi State.

Over 40 years ago, Owu Falls is believed to have been brought to limelight by Reverend Plafare Dui during missionary activities for the Sudan Interior Mission, now known as Evangelical Church of West Africa. Tribune Tourism Magazine gathered that it is believed in Owu community and its vicinity that the falls replies to human voices as this can be verified when the falls gushes out water on the tourists and other fun seekers around as a sign of greeting. When you visit the falls, call on it in a very loud voice and no doubt, it will beckon or respond by bringing down more torrential water. It would be enthralling and fascinating to know that Kwara State, whose capital is Ilorin and resides in the Northern Nigeria, was created on May 27, 1967. This was when the Federal Military Government of General Yakubu Gowon divided the four regions that constituted the Federation of Nigeria into 12 states then. The primary ethnic group of Kwara State is Yoruba, with significant Nupe, Bariba and Hausa minorities.

Other notable tourist attractions in the state include; Agbonna Hill, Imoleboja Rock Shelter, Ogunjokoro, and Esie Museum. However, efforts are still put in place either by private individuals or government to develop tourist centres in the state in order to enhance physical development and encourage people to use as a picnic centre. Furthermore, the fall is believed to be a veritable source of revenue to the state government most especially when urgent measures are taken to make it more feasible. Extending to Ekiti and Kogi states, Owu falls is enclosed with bigger mountains. The verdant and flourishing flora makes the surroundings eye-catching to tourists and other creatures like birds, monkeys and reptiles, among others. The natural vegetation and wildlife have turned the falls into a nature seekers-delight.

By and large, there is no doubt that Nigeria is a vast country with enormous tourist attractions that visitors will find interesting and if Owu Falls is tremendously developed, it will add to the list of tourist centres in the world.

http://www.tribune.com.ng/tourism/item/14982-wonders-of-owu-falls-beckon-tourists

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Edition 77September 2014

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